thatguyaz's current selection is:
Greatest Love of All
by Whitney Houston
I watched the documentary "Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives" on Netflix the other night. https://www.netflix.com/title/80190588

As with most documentaries where the subject takes a very large part in the creation of the picture, the editorial bent was heavily pro-Davis but it did an effective job conveying the history of his life, and his time as the head of four major record labels (Columbia, Arista, J Records, and RCA). The real stars of the movie are of course the artists that Davis signed and worked with across his career, and none takes a larger role than Whitney Houston.

Houston was signed after Davis saw her perform at a club called Sweetwater's in New York City in 1982. Wikipedia has this quote from Davis which I think is lifted from the movie:

I went down there [Sweetwater's club] instead of having her audition in a studio; I was seeing her before an audience. She did backup singing and you could see she was a beautiful young girl. But then she stepped out and she did two solo numbers, one of which was the song "The Greatest Love of All." Whitney sang the song with such fervor, with such a natural vocal gift, with such passion, that I was stunned. I knew really right then and there that this was a special talent and I was blown away by her. As I reflect back on this, I can relive the experience for the very first time. There was no hesitation. I wanted to sign Whitney.

Davis had gone to Sweetwater's with Michael Masser, who happened to have co-written "The Greatest Love of All" in 1977 for the soundtrack a biography of Muhammad Ali (a version sung by George Benson). Wikipedia also has a quote from Masser about that night: "When I first met Whitney, she was about 19 and unknown. I went into Sweetwater's, and I thought I must be totally out of it—I said, 'I must be going crazy, I think I'm hearing one of my songs.' She was singing 'The Greatest Love of All' just as I walked in, and that meant something to me. Two and a half years later when I was doing Teddy Pendergrass there was a duet and everybody wanted me to use this or that known person. Only because I had heard Whitney singing 'The Greatest Love of All'. I chose her."

Houston did go on to sing that duet with Pendergrass, called "Hold Me" - https://www.godsjukebox.com/thatguyaz/teddy-pendergrass-amp-whitney-houston-hold-me/ As for this song, it made Houston a household name as the first of seven consecutive #1 hit singles, becoming the 11th biggest hit of 1985, and the 71st biggest hit of the entire decade.

There is a significant portion of the documentary devoted to Whitney Houston's performances (notably her starring role in "The Bodyguard"), her addiction and ultimately her death right before a Davis-run show held near the Grammy Awards. It's one of the few places where Davis looks bad, IMO, because the documentary leads us right up to the conclusion that Davis could have done more to help her before he rejects that conclusion. Houston's death in 2012 seemed less painful or shocking to me at the time than the deaths of Amy Winehouse, or Michael Jackson, or Prince - and the documentary changed my perspective on that a bit.

The documentary is long (2 hours, 4 minutes) and has A TON of music (see the list below), and a ton of archival video and interviews with stars from across the spectrum of music - Janis Joplin, to Kenny G, to Puff Daddy, to Alan Jackson. I think if you're a user of this site, you will probably find something to like in it.
https://www.tunefind.com/movie/clive-davis-the-soundtrack-of-our-lives-2019
1985 - Arista Records - United States - From the album "Whitney Houston"
Posted: 26th September 2019
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